Tuesday, September 20, 2011

1st Hair Cut

I also had another milestone in my cancer journey....I got my first Hair Cut.  My sweet friend Chris cut it for me and it was a special moment.  Its been almost 2 years since I've had my hair cut and I will say you don't appreciate things like a simple hair cut until you dont' have the hair to cut.  It's a small victory in the battle but you celebrate the small things and that is what I try to do. I am so thankful for sweet friends that will take the time out of their day to give a simple, yet amazing hair cut. The one thing I thank god the most for is having the ability to roll down the window on nice fall days, turn my music up, and let the wind hit my HAIR and not care that's its gonna mess it up.  God can teach you so much from the little things in life if we just take the time to listen :)
My Friend Chris and I

My Attempt At Trying to Show my Hair Cut

Michael Jackson Called He Wants His Glove Back ;)

Well I realize that I have officially been the biggest slacker of them all when it comes to updating my blog. So far life has been moving along at a pretty fast pace and sometimes at certain points I forget that I was ever sick.  However, chemo and cancer being the two trouble makers that they are.....have made it so that I would not forget about them that easily.  About six months ago I began to notice that I was having some swelling in my hand on my "cancer side".  I tried to ignore it because well honestly I flippin hate going to the doctor....it takes up my day and is kinda depressing because its a reminder that well I've had cancer.  So all my ignoring came to a halt when I looked down at my right hand one day and noticed you could not longer see the tendons in my hand like you could on my left hand and that I had no knuckles when I bent my hand.  I figured at this point that I should go see the lymphedema doctor that I had been to before.  So after a quick examination of my hand and some
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"Fat Hand" as I call her is on the Left
measurements of my hand and arm she told me that the slight case of lymphedema that had one just been in my arm had now moved to my hand.  So for the past couple months we have tried different wrappings that were ineffective in treating the lymphedema in my hand.  For those that do not know what lymphedema is, it is caused when your lymphatic system is compromised.  With me the compromise in my system happened when I had 20 lymph nodes removed over less than 1 year in 2 different surgeries.
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"No Kuckle Fat Hand" lol

Your lymph system serves as a filter for your body and so when you do not have the nodes anymore to filter the lymph or "dirt" like i think of it, the lymph backs up in your body and for me it has gone into my hand.  Believe me I know it could be worse but as 26 year old woman it is beyond frustrating having your hand wraped up swollen and hurting all the time.  After a few weeks of unsuccessful wrappings that did not decrease the swelling the doctor determined my hand was not edematous (filled with fluid) like most people but was actually fibrotic scar tissue, which is alot more difficult to fix.
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Attempt #1 at Being Like Michael Jackson
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My Michael Jackson Hand lol
As you can see they have tried a few different wrapping techniques.....which are all fine and well until you try and wash your hands....and oh wait...U CAN'T!  The tape you see on my arm in the above picture is called Kinesio tape which is designed to pull at the lymph vessels, which are directly below the surface of the skin, and help stimulate the lymph vessels to help move the fluid out of my hand.  They have also put the tape across my back and side because they was also fluid collection there too.  Who knew messing with your lymph nodes could cause such problems???  I would have posted pics of the tape on my side and back but I decided that I didn't wanna scar people with those kinda pics...lol...let's just say I never miss breakfast lol ;)  So for now I have an awesome looking glove and sleeve that I wear that looks alot better than all these wrappings......it was only about $500 for the set.....thank you Jesus for insurance! So why there are reasons for me to be frustrated I try and stay positive.  My hand is a constant reminder of the battle I have fought but its just a glove on my hand and if that's all I gotta wear at this point I'll take it and pray for peace in my day to day frustrations.  After a while I have found humor in it all...for example...almost every old person looks at my hand and asks if I have arthritis and before I can say "no" they start asking where they can get an arthritis glove like mine...lol.  Needless to say I have found a way to keep the conversations like that to a minimum...and they go a little like this
Customer:  Oh wow...is that an arthritis glove?
Me: well......
Customer:  me, my mom, and my sister all have arthritis and I'd love to have one of those
Me:  well actually my hand just swells sometimes so its a compression glove...
Customer:  Oh u mean like from carpal tunnel?
Me:  Well no...but you know you might check your local walgreens I hear they have great selections of arthritis gloves
Customer: oh wow..thank you
Now that ladies and gentlemen is the way to stop the conversation b/f they tell the rest of their life story lol
At first I was frustrated with the way every customer asked me what happened to my hand...my favorite line was always when they asked if I'd burned my hand??? I'd say no but think to myself "well if I had burned myself I appreciate how you drew attentions to it but asking me lol".  You gotta love working with the public they are sooo entertaining.  But you know God has a reason for everything and if this glove allows me to share my story with one person and glorify God in it all then well that's ok by me :)